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No Longer an Easy Target

I remember sitting at my friend’s house crying again about something someone said to me. I hated how I let this person’s comments get under my skin but here I was again. This was nothing new. The person had exhibited the same behaviors for years, yet I had a propensity to face it as if it were the first time. I sat in my friend’s kitchen, frustrated and defeated as I re-told the story. They listened and were very encouraging but they also challenged me with truth. “You are an easy target.” My friends words shook me…she was right and it made me angry. Seeing myself from that perspective was all it took for me to get up and take my power back. I was no one’s easy target!

“The way you see is stronger than any calamity.” Mark Batterson

In order to see myself differently, I had to change the narrative I was telling myself.  When we allow others words to hurt us, oftentimes it is because there is something we believe to be true about ourselves. Maybe you believe you’re not a good daughter because you didn’t get your Mother the perfect gift for her birthday. Do you believe you’re unattractive because a family member often reminds you of how you could look so much better if you just changed this.  Or do you feel like you’re incompetent in your role at work because your Supervisor never likes your ideas. Do you feel like you’ll never meet the right guy because you have been romantically disappointed too many times? What do you believe about yourself that is not true?

For years, I let shots land in my heart about my loyalty, my weight, abilities and romantic relationships and every.single.time. I was left feeling the same way which caused me to believe I would never be good enough. I know none of those things are true. I have been processed by the truth of who God says I am and His truth causes me to grow. Each time I recognize a lie, I call it out and build onto the truth.

This is how we grow.

This is how we add maturity to our faith.

We no longer have to start from square one when we get attacked. Now we can recognize what the attacker is attempting to do and get out of the way! When you make the decision to grow, your attackers plans will no longer work.  

I want you to think about something. When a hunter goes hunting, they do not simply shoot and kill their prey.  Their attack is calculated. They blend in with their surroundings, they are quiet, silently watching, studying to learn their preys habits, weaknesses, and strengths. The hunter can sit for hours taking in all this information and waiting for the perfect time to attack.  Y’all we have an enemy that is strategically setting up challenges to steal, kill and destroy us.  He believes that you are an easy target. What do you believe??

The following week the same person that I let upset me attempted to rile me up again but this time I refused to let it anger me. I called them out on their behavior. They didn’t apologize but they quickly backed down and tried to pretend they were just kidding. The behavior continued a few more times, but each time it occurred, I spoke up with more assurance until finally it stopped.  What happened? I was able to see the problem with a greater perspective which allowed me to build upon the information that I already knew.  This made it possible for me to face the challenge with more tenacity. I was done!

Philippians 1:6 says, “God has already started a good work in you and He wants to bring it to completion.”  

God wants to build upon what He has already done in you so that you can have greater influence to empower others.

Brave Tip: “Let your yesterday be a building block for tomorrow.” Priscilla Shirer

Candy

Be Brave & Carry on.

“Each step prepares you for the next one.” Dr. Hoffman

I recently heard this quote while discussing the big picture in life and how we can get so focused on the big picture, that monumental moment in the future, that we forget about the here and now.

In the past few months, God has given me many pictures and words for what is to come in my life. However, I live in the present reality, I don’t live in a futuristic fantasy. Now my job is to live this present reality in view of the future, mindful of the work I will do each day in order to get there. I still hold onto the hope, but I’m not naive enough to think it will just magically happen with no work on my part.

Proverbs 14:15 says, “The simple believe anything,

but the prudent give thought to their steps.”

If each step prepares me for the next and it is a good thing to give thought to my steps in the view of the vision I have been given, then YES, I will prayerfully consider my ways each day!

Bravery is a journey. You don’t wake up one morning and just decide to be brave (although that would be a good way to start). Bravery starts small, and as you go along the journey, each step of the way will be preparation for the next. Take some time to think about the journey. Reflect and be still for a few moments.

Here are three things to help as your current step prepares you for the next:

  1. Ask yourself, how is this step preparing me for that bigger picture?
  2. What in my last step (or the last year) prepared me for right now?
  3. How can I live right now in view of the bigger picture of a lifetime? Or eternity?

Trust that this step is preparing your for the next, however difficult each step may be. When we take the time to reflect on what has already happened, it gives us that bigger picture view to take with us in the midst of each step.

Proverbs 20:24

“A person’s steps are directed by the Lord.

How then can anyone understand their own way?”

We may not understand it now, but we will someday! Keep going. Be brave, and carry on. (Tweet that).

Three ways to crush your fear

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Last weekend I went on my first getaway with my husband. We traveled a few hours away for a three day trip filled with horseback riding, hiking, tubing, and a hot air balloon ride! I was anticipating our trip as soon as the hotel was booked, but as it grew closer to our departure, I started feeling anxious; unhealthy thoughts filled my mind: “you can’t leave the kids, you’re still nursing your daughter this will not work, will my son be okay with us disrupting his new schedule, and the worst one of all–what will happen to the kids if we die??”  I secretly hoped that God would give me an excuse to stay home: Dear Lord, can you bless me with a 48 hour flu so I can control my own life and stay at home. You’re awesome-Amen!

Has anyone else experienced this?  Fear is sneaky. It robs you from experiencing adventure, building relationships, and living your dreams boldly and passionately. You have the power to crush fear and here are three ways to do it.

1. Recognize that your fear button is being pressed.

A friend of mine left me a beautiful note and prayer featuring those words. You can’t remove what you don’t acknowledge. It takes vulnerability to acknowledge you are fearful. As a Mother, I never want to appear weak or afraid; especially in front of my kids. I tried to crush fear by ignoring it not realizing that it only increased fear and anxiety. What do you need to acknowledge today?

2. Turn back to the truth. 

2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and a sound mind. Living in fear opens up the door for reckless thoughts. As I said before, fear is sneaky so you can unknowingly leave the door open for those thoughts to enter. What negative thoughts are you replaying? Acknowledge the fear and turn your thoughts and your heart to the truth of who God says you are.

3. Commit your treasure to Him.

“Parenting is as much about our sanctification as theirs; it teaches us to trust God and listen humbly, to commit our greatest treasures to His safekeeping. We can confidently give Him our fear, our hopes, and our kids.” – Jen Hatmaker (Author of For the Love and mom of 5 kids) My kids are my greatest treasure. I will do anything and everything I can to help them live a life with purpose. I learned from a Mother early on to release my children’s lives into the hands of God. Catastrophe can happen at any time and I cannot control it. Committing your treasure to Him releases the pressure off of you and allows you to trust in His outcome.  What treasure do you need to commit to Him? Your children, husband, a family member….You have been empowered by God to live with abundant faith therefore you can release fear into the capable hands of your Father.

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